Transition Wilmslow had a tree planting session on Saturday 4 February 2017. We were at ‘The Temp’ orchard at Gravel Lane, Wilmslow to replace three damaged apple trees. Chris talked us through the whole process; how deep to dig the holes; where to place the support stakes, how high to build up the surrounding soil.
It was also a good opportunity to discuss the position of the additional raised beds that will soon be built in between the trees.
A great opportunity to learn more about pruning fruit trees – and it’s entirely free!
Come along to the orchard in Meriton Park, Handforth on Saturday, 21st Jan, 2017 from 10-11am for some advice and ‘hands-on’ practice organised by Transition Wilmslow.
Access from the gate behind Handforth Paddock and walk to the far end of the Park to meet up. Secateurs optional. Sensible footwear and warm clothing recommended.
The Inaugural Transition Wilmslow Lecture, 10th October 2016
We had a full house for our very first Transition Wilmslow Lecture!
We thought an Annual Lecture might be a way of appealing to a wider audience, demonstrating that Transition towns are not just about “green” issues but about sustainable communities in general. The Transition Network has set up a website “Reconomy” http://www.reconomy.org talking about different ways of thinking about the economy, and of course a number of Transition Towns (Lewes, Totnes, Brixton, Bristol, and even…at one point in history..Ambridge!) have their own currency. We invited Derek Whyte, Deputy CEO of Preston City Council, to talk about the work they have done with CLES (Centre for Local Economic Strategies) in Manchester, and a European Consortium, to look at how they procure goods and services, and ways in which they can procure more locally. It was good to hear they have significantly increased their local procurement, with benefits for local businesses and jobs.
We were delighted to have an expert discussion panel, with Dominic Oakshott from CEC, Richard Jones who was Director of Social Services for Lancashire and now undertakes consultancy work in social care and the charitable sector, and Catherine Mackenzie, Chair of Wilmslow Business Group. Dominic told us that CEC have been working to get more local procurement, and are up to around 25%; Catherine pointed out the challenges for small businesses in negotiating procurement challenges (large companies may have groups of lawyers negotiating these which makes it difficult for small enterprises) and Richard pointed out the real problems in local authority funding at present which make any economic model difficult. There was a lively discussion with the audience which, as always, raised more questions than it answered, but we agreed that there is a tension between local procurement and having processes in place to ensure fair tendering. There were lots of positive comments from the audience so we’d like to organise another lecture for next year: any suggestions for speakers gratefully received!
Foraging Day with James Wood: Saturday 8th October 2016
A group of around 25 people joined James Wood, professional forager: http://www.totallywilduk.co.uk/ in the Carrs on Saturday.
James introduced us to all the things you can do with nettles (nettle tea, using nettles like spinach and even making nettle string: impressive!), mugwort as a herb or tea and boiling down meadowsweet to make a syrup. We learned how you extract sap from silver birch (same technique as maple syrup!) to make a lovely sweet syrup, and tasted the edible flowers of Himalayan Balsam. We saw a fungus on a birch branch (polypore) and had a look at some mushrooms. It was great to meet so many new people and we all agreed we would organise a full mushrooming day for next year! If you are interested in foraging and cooking wild food do look at James’s website, and look out for our mushroom day next year
Dawn Walk 30 July 2016
All who rose early on Saturday morning to experience dawn breaking on the Moss were not disappointed! We started out at 4.30am in darkness and made our way around Black Lake, across Lindow Common, Newgate Lane and onto the Moss in time to experience an atmospheric sunrise with mists hanging low over the peat bog.
Along the way we stopped to hear readings about the landscape now and in the past. One of the guests on the walk was Rick Turner, a leading figure with the British Museum on the exhumation, examination and preservation of the body of Lindow Man. Rick gave a reading that he had been inspired to compose – a diary entry as if it had been written in 1st Century AD by this bog man in his last hours leading up to being sacrificed at first light. This focused our thoughts as a bouquet of flowers from the bog was laid on the water in commemoration of Lindow Man.
Transition Wilmslow has another Moss walk planned for 17 September 2016 – at the more reasonable hour of 10am! See our Diary Page for this and other events.
News from a Wilmslow Transitioner now living in Western Australia
Transition is really taking off in Australia. Of course they have very similar problems to those in the UK but there are some stark differences too:
- the weather – it’s a lot hotter and good for generating solar power
- there’s a lot less water – months of no rain and bush fire problems
- the soils here, particularly here in Western Australia are very poor, in fact Perth is really one big sand dune
- it’s BIG so things are very spread out and people drive a lot more
The Living Smart Programme
The whole idea started out in Fremantle 2002.
The Living Smart course is a 7 week affair (3 hours every Tuesday evening) consisting of ten key modules: Water Power Waste Simple Living Gardening for Food Transport Healthy You Gardening for Biodiversity Healthy Homes Community
It’s about training people to understand what can make the difference to living sustainably. Importantly, it includes behavioural change techniques that provide participants with the skills and knowledge to take action in their own homes to improve their quality of life and reduce their environmental impact – so critical to getting more of what people learn in the course implemented. See more at the Living Smart Website
Here is Marianne’s account of one of the sessions.
Tonight we did a great ice breaker – called “Sustainability Bingo” where we had to find people who did something in each of the categories (these were things like “use your own shopping bags” “cycle to work or shops” “drive a small economical car” etc.). Then we were asked in small groups to declare why we were there (and write it down) and then assess which things individuals in the group had in common. This was followed by an interesting discussion about behavioural change and how important goal setting is (a way of talking to your subconscious as well as a way of recognising and breaking down barriers to change). The course involved being very hands on with lots of activities, tonight mostly focused on what we wanted to know, why we were interested and the behavioural change stuff.
We hope to bring you more news from Marianne soon.
Seedling Swap at The Temp Community Garden 14 May 2016
Thanks to all who took part – seedling swappers, raised bed diggers, veggie planters, cake makers, fire makers, composting gurus and all those who just came along to have a look and a chat!
Please come along to the event next year. Or if you would like to lend a hand looking after the vegetables seedlings we have planted this year do please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org
HEATING UP THE APPLE JUICE